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An Interdisciplinary Research Centre at the University of Cambridge
Read more at: Frances Aylward

Frances Aylward

What I do:

Research into Orientia tsutsugamushi, an obligate intracellular tick-borne pathogen. Primary research projects: OT growth in neurons; Effect of host immune response pathways on OT growth (Nod1/2 + RIG pathways)

Research Interests:

  • Host-pathogen interactions, particularly of obligate intracellular pathogens
  • IFM
  • Role of host cell machinery in pathogen lifecycles
  • Cell membranes, budding and regulation of endo/exocytosis

Read more at: Alazhar Colombowala

Alazhar Colombowala

What I do:

Research assistant working on the molecular mechanism of malarial infection

Research Interests:

Antimicrobial resistance, infectious diseases and novel drug discovery

Read more at: Dr Viola Introini

Dr Viola Introini

What I do:

Biophysics of the blood stage malaria

Key Projects, Countries, and Partners:

  • Present     Kazuhide Yahata, Department of Molecular Parasitology, Ehime University, Japan

  • 2022-Present    Jean Langhorne’s lab, Francis Crick Institute, London, UK

  • 2018-Present    Bridget Penman, Warwick University, UK (1 publication)

  • 2017-Present    Marco Cosentino Lagomarsino and Gururaj Rao, IFOM the FIRCInstitute for Molecular Biology, Milan, Italy (1 pre-printed article)

Read more at: Rachel Jackson

Rachel Jackson

What I do:

My research interest is in host-pathogen interactions in the context of intracellular bacteria. My project looks at Orientia tsutsugamushi, a bacterium that causes scrub typhus and aims to identify the mechanisms by which Orientia tsutsugamushi differentiates from an intracellular to an extracellular state during its lifecycle in humans. I utilise proteomics and spatial transcriptomics to gain a global insight into the processes regulating different stages of Orientia tsutsugamushi infection.

Read more at: Dr Jeanne Salje

Dr Jeanne Salje

What I do:

  • In my research group, we study the host-pathogen cell biology of obligate intracellular bacteria, focussing on organisms within the order Rickettsiales.
  • My lab has been partly based at Mahidol University/MORU in Thailand since 2013

Read more at: Suthida Chuenklin

Suthida Chuenklin

Key Projects, Countries, and Partners:

Dual RNA-seq of Orientia tsutsugamushi informs on host-pathogen interactions for this neglected intracellular human pathogen.

  • Helmholtz Institute for RNA-based Infection Research (HIRI), Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research (HZI), Würzburg, Germany

  • Mahidol-Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Unit, Faculty of Tropical Medicine, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand

Read more at: Dr Panjaporn Chaichana

Dr Panjaporn Chaichana

What I do:

My current project is constructing the huMAbs from the plasmablast of patients with acute scrub typhus to improve the diagnosis and also to understand the antibody responses against the disease for vaccine development. My second project is to understand which bacteria factors are involved in the virulence of the bacteria.

My research focus is to understand the immune responses against obligate intracellular bacteria Orientia tsutsugamushi for diagnosis and vaccine development.

Read more at: Dr Alison Kemp

Dr Alison Kemp

I am a Research Associate at Cambridge Institute for Medical Research doing research into basic malaria parasite biology to find new vaccine candidates or drug targets. My work is part of the Multivivax consortium developing tools for vaccine development.

Read more at: Prof Mike Weekes

Prof Mike Weekes

General research description:

Human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) is a ubiquitous herpesvirus that infects 60-90% of individuals. Following primary infection, HCMV establishes a latent infection under the control of a healthy immune system. Reactivation from viral latency to productive infection causes serious disease in immunocompromised individuals, such as transplant recipients and AIDS patients. Congenital CMV affects 1/100 pregnancies, and is the leading viral cause of birth defects.